The Department of Environment and Natural Resources – MIMAROPA Region launched “Wings Unfolded: The Metamorphosis of Butterflies,” an art exhibit held in celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) on May 22.
The exhibit is installed at the DENR by the Bay Ground Floor lobby to showcase the beauty and relevance of the species through photographs, information materials, souvenir items, and short documentary films. A mini cage with live butterflies was also put up for closer encounter with and better appreciation of the said species.
The activity anchors to the theme of the 2023 IDBD celebration, “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity” which highlights what has been achieved, as well as the urgency of what still needs to be undertaken in conserving global biodiversity.
DENR MIMAROPA underscores the importance of this winged insect as they are among nature’s key players in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and in boosting socio-economic progress particularly in the province of Marinduque, which is known as the Butterfly Capital of the Philippines.
Butterfly farming is one of the major enterprises that provides stable livelihood to the residents of Marinduque. The province is the biggest supplier of live butterflies to collectors and exhibitors in the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Europe and the Middle East. At present, there are 11 butterfly farms operating in the province, which are mostly located in the towns of Cawit, Tugos and Gasan.
To ensure the conservation and legal trade of these species, butterfly breeders from the island province are required to acquire wildlife export certification (WEC) from the DENR MIMAROPA Regional Office in Manila. To ease the process, the agency’s Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division and the Regional Information Communication and Technology Unit designed last year an online system, enabling remote WEC application.
“We can say that this endeavor reflects the blessings that both nature and technology have to offer. We will always be thankful for that, because it enables us to fulfill our task to take care of our environment, and ensure efficient business transactions with our stakeholders at the same time,” DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Lormelyn Claudio remarked in her message during the opening program.
DENR MIMAROPA’s Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives Group spearheaded the event in partnership with the Association of Cawit Butterfly Breeders Village and of the Alliance of Marinduque Butterfly Permittees headed by Ms. Elizabeth Lumawig, and her sister, Dr. Marion Lumawig – Abundo, who are daughters of hobbyist Romeo Lumawig that pioneered butterfly handcrafting enterprise in Marinduque in 1965.
Also present during the launch were the key officials from the Regional Office, Ms. Heitzmann, Dr. Abundo and her family, Dr. Maarten Bijleveld, a Dutch biologist and co-founder of the World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands, Marinduque PENR Officer Imelda Diaz, and permittees.
The exhibit shall run until June 30, 2023 and will likewise be launched online through DENR MIMAROPA website and official Facebook page. (30)